Monday, 16 January 2012

Review - The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

The First Days (As The World Dies #1)
Rhiannon Frater
331 pages
First published online 2008, re-published 2011 by TOR (
Buy it here from!

I know I have eclectic taste (eclectic is the new black, I say - now how do I trademark that?).  I’m not sure how many other divorced thirty-somethings salivate over books that describe the world ending at the hands of viruses or zombies (or both), as well well written, feel good Chick Lit.  Add in a spattering of regular horror, most books on the Best Seller lists, YA, etc ... and I like pretty much everything.

However, I never in a million years thought I would find a book that encompasses my true loves - zombies, The World As We Know It Going To Hell, and Chick Lit - but I have.  Oh my, have I ever. 

As I mentioned in my pre-review, the Semi-BFF scouted this particular book out, read it, and immediately passed it on to me, knowing I would love it as much as she did. 

Here’s what I loved - The First Days is written from the point of view of not just one, but two females.  While I love my The World As We Know It Going To Hell books immensely, I get very tired of hearing about what the men would do.  Let’s be real here - men are easy to figure out, we already know what they would do.  But what would women do?  What would Adele do if she was faced with a throng of zombies?  What would Chelsea Handler do?  I bet those stories would be a lot more entertaining than what Spencer Pratt or Justin Bieber would do.

I kind of wish zombies did attack, because I know my Ex Husband wouldn’t survive, but that’s probably really selfish of me to say.

Back to the story at hand (although I am sitting here with a satisfied smirk on my face, picturing ... well, never mind).  Katie & Jenni meet by complete and utter luck at the beginning of the zombie onslaught, and manage to just barely get out of the city unbitten and undead.  Katie, the high powered, confidant lover of women, and Jenni, the abused wife and mother are trying to survive in a world where the zombies aren’t exactly like the ones in the movies, and trying to make their way to save Jenni’s stepson. 

There’s only a few things that I found issue with, and I know a few other reviewers did as well.  Katie is first described as a lesbian, but when she’s introduced to one of the smouldering hot male characters, she soon after reveals she’s bi.  I found this a little convenient, timing wise.  Jenni, on the other hand, is a long-time abused wife who not only thrives in The New World As We Know It, but starts to really enjoy killing the reanimated dead.  Given what she had gone through all her life, and the recent images of her own kids coming back from the dead to attack her, her quick segue from Typical Abused Wife to Thriving Zombie Killing Jedi is hard to swallow.  However, given the lack of research on how abused wives would handle zombies, it’s hard to actually find this unbelievable, but it does give me pause. 

Also, for some reason, when I picture Jenni in my head, she’s played by Ginnifer Goodwin

Rhiannon Frater wrote this book in bits and pieces, never really intending it as more than a story on her blog.  You can really see her writing, and the story itself, evolve as you read further and further into the book, which really impressed me.  I found the beginning to be such an easy read, but by the time I got to the end, I had to go back and read the last few pages over and over because I just couldn’t believe how intense the plot had become. 

This book is wrought with tough women, close calls, adrenaline, zombies, and sexiness.  I wish the sex scenes were a little smuttier, but that’s probably because I haven’t gotten laid in entirely too long, and considering this book has everything else going for it, I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth (I’m not entirely sure what that means, but in my world it means shut the fuck up and enjoy your Zombie Chick Lit).  I fell in love with the characters (Team Juan!) surprisingly easily, and found myself skipping ahead to make sure my favourites were still intact. 

Zombies.  Action.  Emotions.  Sex.  Tequila.  Guns.  Trucks.  Tenderness.  All from the female POV.  Jesus Eff, I may have found the perfect book. 

P.S - Like the same kind of books I do?  Leave me a comment so I know I’m not alone in my strangeness.


  1. I've NEVER been a zombie fan...until The Walking Dead, and now, The First Days! I LOVED this book!

  2. Wait until you read the second one!!